Neil Fergus graduated from UNE in ’84 with a Bachelor of Arts. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of market-leading international crisis and security firm, Intelligent Risks. Since graduating from UNE, Neil has had an inspiring and successful international career, including 20 years in federal and international government security, and advisor for seven Olympic Games.
Finishing high school in the late 70’s, Neil Fergus spent his late teens in the regional exploration sector, prospecting in Northern Territory bush camps. At 23, seeking a more long-term goal, he enrolled in a UNE Bachelor of Arts. With no specific career in mind, it was a growing interest in politics and history that marked the beginning of a career in government.
Neil was an external student for the length of his 4-year degree, and experienced the comradery of on-campus life through intensive schools. Motivated by the enthusiasm of his Politics and History lecturers, and the positive mood on campus during visits to the university, Neil has remained involved in the UNE community. He is currently a member of the Sydney Alumni Chapter.
Into The Workforce
Neil’s transition from university to government service was untraditional. Before completing his degree, Neil was employed by the Australian Intelligence Community. Entering the security division as a specialist officer, he remained in international relations and security for two decades, undertaking significant roles such as senior diplomat at the Australian High Commission in London, Manager for the Middle Eastern Branch, Principal Operations Adviser, and Executive Director for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Resilience and persistence. Doors will close in your face, but do not give up on your dreams. Some of the best diplomats did not follow traditional pathways. There is always another way to get where you want to go.
Intelligent Risks Pty. Ltd.
Moving into the private sector was a logical progression, providing a wider field in which to help people with security and crisis issues. Founded in 2001, Intelligent Risks now operates in multiple countries, advising governments, businesses and organisations on a wide range of security matters - from potential terror threats, to kidnap, ransom and extortion. Neil credits this fast-growing success to his pre-established international contacts, the skills and experience of the staff as well as the value and reputation of the company’s work.
Author: Zoe Sutherland
Office of Advancement
Ph: 02 6773 2870